Left alone on the front end, favored Get Stormy kicked away in the stretch and breezed to victory in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) in a swift time on the Mellon Turf Course at Saratoga Aug. 1.
Winning for the third time in four starts on the lawn at Saratoga, Get Stormy completed the 1 1/16-mile event in 1:39.09, just off the course mark of 1:38.91 established by --guess who -- Fourstardave under 115 pounds on July 29, 1991. Get Stormy finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Public Speaker, who nosed Zifzaf for second. With three scratches, seven older horses competed in the Fourstardave.
Javier Castellano guided Get Stormy, a 4-year-old colt by Stormy Atlantic --Foolish Girl, by Kiri's Clown, to victory for trainer Thomas Bush and owner Sullimar Stable. Mary A. Sullivan bred the winner in Kentucky.
Breaking from the inside post as the 3-2 choice, Get Stormy stumbled a bit at the start but went directly to the lead for Castellano while racing off the rail. He carved solid fractions of :23.65, :47.01 and 1:10.05 while tracked from about 1 1/2 lengths by Pinckney Hill and Public Speaker. Given his head, Get Stormy spurted away from his rivals as Pinckney Hill gave way to take a commanding 2 1/2-length lead in mid-stretch. He won gamely under right-handed urging.
“My horse likes to be close to the pace – if he isn’t on the lead he can be second or third, but he loves to go on the lead," Castellano said. "Turning for home, everybody thought I didn’t have a horse and they were asking, and he took off again."
Zifzaf finished well for Channing Hill to narrowly miss the place spot to Public Speaker, ridden by Robby Albarado. Public Speaker was unsaddled on the backstretch and removed from the course by ambulance.
Second choice Whatsthescript, who made up ground after altering course to the rail in the homestretch, flattened out late to finish fourth. He was followed by Radical Sabbatical, Pinckney Hill and Wesley, who trailed throughout.
Get Stormy won last year's Lure Stakes at Saratoga as part of a five-race winning streak that ended in the bay colt's most recent race, the King Edward Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine June 27. Get Stormy dueled on the front end of that one-turn mile event before giving way in the stretch and finishing fourth over a course rated "good."
“We got the kind of course he has proven himself on," Bush said. "He was really kind of rattling down the backside, and I wasn’t sure if he’d have enough left. The fractions were pretty legit.
"This horse really is something special. He was a very light and narrow horse as a baby and he grew into such a strong, big horse. We want to sit down and back up from the Breeders’ Cup and figure out what he needs to do between now and then.”
Winning for the seventh time in 15 starts, Get Stormy boosted his career earnings to $435,961 with the first-place purse of $90,000 in the Fourstardave.
Get Stormy carried 117 pounds and paid $5.10, $3.10 and $2.80 and topped a $19.80 exacta. Public Speaker, who ran second in Churchill Downs' Firecracker Handicap (gr. IIT), with Albarado riding at 118 pounds, returned $4.10 and $3.50. Zifzaf was $6.90 to show in his stakes debut for trainer James Toner.
Cherokee Artist, Nownownow and Violon Sacre scratched. Brother Nick and Convocation were entered for the main track only.